Geek Appointed as Director of Citizen Participation

And that's good news, another sign that eParticipation is ready for prime time. 

Hopes are raised today that Change.gov's sort of citizen engagement is on its way to WhiteHouse.gov. As first reported by MediaMemo's Peter Kafka, Google's Katie Jacobs Stanton will be joining the White House as the new Director of Citizen Participation, starting in March.

What's fascinating is that in bringing Stanton in-house, the Obama Administration is bringing in the mechanic to drive the car (or some less clunky phrase). Stanton, reports the TechChuck blog, was part of the team that brought to life Google Moderator. That's the tool that powered Change.gov's Open for Questions. And during the presidential campaign, Stanton worked on the company's Elections and Moderator team. (via TechPresident)

 

Google Moderator

Interesting pick. I somewhat disagree with her statement quoted in the TechPresident article, though. Yes, "Google Moderator [is] a free tool which enables communities to submit and vote on questions for debates, presentations and events." However, her conclusion that "[t]his way, the best and most representative questions rise to the top" would need further proof. From what I was able to observe during the "Open for Questions" project on Change.gov, only those questions made it to the top that had managed to gain an early lead in popularity.

I agree, while I like the

I agree, while I like the basic concept of Google Moderator, I'm missing some of the bells & whistles. For example, I don't understand why it does not allow users to comment on other peoples suggestions. Besides that, I believe that scaling this up to encourage nationwide participation requires other mechanisms to make sense of the responses and draw the right conclusions.
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